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Soc Sci Med. 2000 Sep;51(5):759-70.

Precursive depression among HIV infected AIDS caregivers over time.

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  • 1Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1772, USA.


This study examines depression among HIV infected AIDS caregivers, documenting and explaining variation in health within a stress proliferation framework. Longitudinal data for 376 HIV- and HIV+ caregiving men who self-identify as gay are analyzed to establish how changes in depression are influenced by care-related stressors and by being a member of the gay, HIV-affected community. This research identifies the mechanisms by which the caregiver stress process unfolds distinctively among caregivers with AIDS-related health problems, in comparison to HIV- caregivers. Three waves of data are analyzed using longitudinal multiple regression models. Among HIV infected caregivers, mental health is affected by deteriorating health, perceptions of AIDS alienation/stigma, internalized homophobia, role overload, and financial worry. For both groups, depression is a function of social constriction and AIDS-related bereavement. The precursive nature of caregiving among these HIV infected men may magnify the stress of being in poor health, gay, and stigmatized.

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